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Agency Weighs in on Safety for Semis, Aims to Reduce Truck Accidents

Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a study into trucking accidents and has submitted recommendations based on that research to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recommendations are meant to specifically male tractor-trailers safer while also preventing accidents involving these vehicles.

Research conducted by the NTSB found a number of troubling facts, including the fact that in most pedestrian accidents involving tractor trailers moving away from a stoplight, truckers were not aware that they had caused a pedestrian accident until other drivers indicated the problem, The NTSB also found that up to 500 fatalities caused by underride accidents involve a broadside collision with the side of a trailer.

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The NTSB submitted a number of recommendations based on their research, including:

•Recommending that tractor-trailers add guards along the sides of the trailers to prevent underride accidents
•Recommending that VIN numbers of trailers be included in accident reports
•Recommending that the NHTSA make blind-spot reduction solutions mandatory for tractor trailers
•Recommending that rear underride systems be improved
•Recommending that tractor-trailers with gross weight ratings of more than 26,000 pounds be equipped with visibility enhancement systems to reduce pedestrian accidents and collisions involving smaller vehicles
So far, the NHTSA has not made the requested changes and it could be some time before these changes are made. However, safety experts have been making these recommendations for some time. For example, experts have noted that underride accidents in Miami and other cities could be prevented with correct guards. They have also noted that more needs to be done to prevent pedestrian accidents in Miami as well as trucking collisions in Miami and other cities. It remains to be seen whether the recommendations will be adopted and whether they will have the desired effect of reducing trucking crashes. It is possible that further recommendations will be made in the future as well to improve tractor trailer safety.


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